By: Merlito G. Edale, Jr. and Mark Djeron C. Tumabao
CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela, Feb. 12 (PIA) — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) here and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office installed additional six Flood Early Warning Stations (FEWS) in this city on Jan. 30.
Engr. Marcelo Miguel, provincial director of DOST – Isabela, said the six FEWS were installed at barangays Bagumbayan, Marana, Fugu, Cabisera 22, Batong Labang and Allinguigan.
The FEWS is an alarm system for communities during increment weather conditions.
Miguel said aside from installation of the FEWS, the agency also distributed information, education and communication (IEC) materials relative to disaster preparedness. An orientation on disaster preparedness was also conducted to the barangays officials and residents in the flood-prone barangays.
DOST-2 started installing FEWS in 2016 with the aim to ensure the safety of residents in times of calamities especially flooding.
Meanwhile, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Francisco Estabillo told the residents in the area to guard the installed equipment as these are useful instruments for their safety especially in times of calamities.
Under R.A. 10344 or the Risk Reduction and Preparedness Equipment Protection Act of 2012, stealing, taking, possession, buying, tampering, dismantling, or disassembling of any preparedness equipment , their parts or accessories.
Violators could be imprisoned from 2 to 15 years, or will pay a fine from P200,000.00 to P3,000,000.00, or both.
How does FEWS work?
The FEWS has a solar panel, where it derives power from; a beacon or blinker; controller box; siren; and pole mast.
John Michael Taguiam, science research specialist of DOST-2 said the FEWS has four stages namely alert, alarm, critical and recession.
According to Taguiam, when the threshold level is reached, it can be triggered either through website or manual switch to cause alarm.
The threshold level varies depending on where is the location of the FEWS.
“Ang threshold normally ay ina-identify ng PAGASA. Pero pwede rin ang LGU mismo ang magidentify based on their experience kasi mas alam na nila kung ano usually ang level ng baha,” said Taguiam.
When it reaches the critical level, residents near the area are advised to evacuate to the nearest designated evacuation areas or centers.
Taguim added that it is only during the recession stage where the residents are advised to go back to their respective homes. The recession stage implies that the water has subsided and it is safe to go back home. (MDCT/MGE/PIA 2-Isabela)